When I decided to work part time for a little program called Rally for the Cure back in the fall of 1998, I had no idea of the rewards I would receive, the lessons I would learn or that I would be there for 18+ years! It sounded like an interesting place to be; a job that enabled me to reach out to women golfers to engage them in a program to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of breast cancer for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. At the time I hadn’t heard of Susan G. Komen, but I was excited to work in a place that provided value and that’s what Rally did for me.
It was exciting to be at the grassroots level of this program and to see it grow over the years. Outsiders were always amazed that such a small group of people, the Rally team, could accomplish what we did. (We were pretty amazed ourselves)! But we did it with a lot of help. The help came from the many women we contacted who said, ‘yes’ to hosting an event for breast cancer awareness. And their friends told their friends who told their friends….and the word spread from our little office in CT to all over the US and even abroad. The heartbreaking side of this is that more and more women were being diagnosed with breast cancer. The need was there. We formed so many friendships through the thousands of phone conversations over the years with truly wonderful women; Susie in VA, Diane in CA, Carol in MD, Katherine in TX ,Shelly in MO, Carole in PA and Elspeth in FL; some of whom I was fortunate to meet in person. It was no longer a job; it became personal.
One of the skills I honed over the years at Rally is I became a good listener. It’s an important life skill. Perhaps “the” most important skill as I think about it. In getting to speak with so many Ambassadors I listened, commiserated, laughed and sometimes cried. And when their events were over and done, I enjoyed the photos, the letters and the phone conversations. How could I not stay 18 years? It was so very rewarding.
And then there is the team that I worked with. Some of the faces changed over time, but the group I just left I will miss the most. We’ve been together awhile. We shared our children’s highs and lows, our best recipes, our latest in-law visits and life happenings in general. I will miss hearing their voices, saying ‘good morning’ and ‘happy birthday’ and ‘what’s for lunch’….the daily stuff, which enabled me to get to really know who they are. Great ladies (and a couple of guys too). Keep up the good work Rally for the Cure! Thanks for the memories.